Want an indoor sounds of a burbling brook, not the hum of a motor
February 4, 2017 12:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an indoor fountain for my office that a pleasant burbling sound. The last time I tried, the sound of the motor was louder than the sound of the water. I would happy to get specific recommendations or guidance on what to look for. I'm not sure what size (I think the first on was too small.) It is for a largish office (11'x14') My goal is cut down the sounds from other offices while still being able easily conversations inside my own.
posted by metahawk to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you need an actual fountain, or just the sound? There are apps with pleasant background noises. Dig out an old phone from somewhere, get a cheap bluetooth speaker, and you'll be set.
posted by COD at 5:58 AM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

A multi-tiered fountain provides more burble for your buck. I had a small one that was 3 containers with approx 3 inches of falling water between each, that worked well.

If the floors are relatively flimsy, you could get a reverberation between the motor and the floor. Adding rocks in the fountain, or raising it off the floor may help.

There is also a wide range in quality (noise and how long it lasts) of motors and pumps.
posted by joeyh at 9:18 AM on February 4, 2017

Here's a link about noisy fountain pumps: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/quiet-noise-fountain-pump-85820.html
I had a cat-water circulating fountain that was so noisy the cat wouldn't go near--it may be an unavoidable feature...
Perhaps a more expensive ( centrifugal rather than pulsing) pump?
posted by Chriswill44 at 9:19 AM on February 4, 2017

I solved this problem by placing the fountain on a thick slab of stiff foam. And also making sure the fountain is always full of water, since the sound is much worse when it's not. Also, I put in a bunch of my own rocks, so the burble is louder.

I can still hear the motor when there are no other sounds in the room, but it's much much better.
posted by RedEmma at 9:20 AM on February 4, 2017

(The thick slab of foam was from some electronics I ordered mailed to me. Not styrofoam, but thick grey foam.)
posted by RedEmma at 9:22 AM on February 4, 2017

Also I should add that my fountain is a super cheap one I got at a garage sale.)
posted by RedEmma at 9:22 AM on February 4, 2017

You may laugh but we have a PetSafe Avalon cat fountain in the kitchen and it has a nice falling water sound, and you can't hear the pump at all. You could put some pebbles in it or something ... it's porcelain and fairly attractive-looking. I just went and put my ear right to it and I can't hear the motor.

In general motors for these fountains can be opened and have the gunk cleaned out, which helps a lot. If they are gunked up they work too hard and hum.
posted by freecellwizard at 10:26 AM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've personally seen that Hebel - I can't load Hebel US link but you want 'sound_barrier_systems_2481' in url is VERY effective at absorbing sound. Place your pump in a box made of this - you can probably find a local dealer who will sell you a small amount of the panel. Pump should be bolted to inside floor of box with anti-vibration bolts - bolt shaft has a rubber section to further absorb vibration.

Generally a larger (capable of higher flow than you need) continuous-flow pump will be quieter (and easier to achieve a constant smooth flow). I design water features occasionally and have spent a lot of time learning to reduce pump noise.
posted by unearthed at 9:59 PM on February 5, 2017

Ceramic Avalon Pet Fountain wins! After doing much research and careful shopping, I bought a promising decorative fountain that turned out to be much too quiet. So I returned it and bought this PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain and it was perfect. It looks nice, it makes a strong, pleasant burbling sounds that I can reduce by placing river rocks under the flow. Exactly what I needed - I can remind it to anyone with similar design problem.
posted by metahawk at 10:00 PM on March 25, 2017

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